Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Books on Tape

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Books on Tape

Article excerpt

"THE GREAT ONE: THE LIFE AND LEGEND OF JACKIE GLEASON" A biography by William A. Henry III (3 hours, abridged, Publishing Mills, $16.95)

If ever a cover found the wrong book, it's the one that surrounded television star Jackie Gleason. His public persona was a far cry from his private life as related in "The Great One," a biography by two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning critic William A. Henry III.

Apparently, Gleason was a paradox even to himself. A man given to excesses, he smoked, ate and drank too much. He could be cruel and incredibly generous. Then, as if his generosity revealed something about himself that he didn't want known, he would deny it angrily.

His genius was in his ability to make people who didn't know him as a person laugh. Those who worked with him apparently saw something else, because, when he died, no stars, with the exception of Audrey Meadows, came to his funeral.

Frank Ferrante is only adequate as he reads this narrative about one of television's most enduring personalities. Nevertheless, the book is so interesting, it doesn't matter.

Publishing Mills AudioBooks can be found in bookstores or ordered by calling (800) 72-AUDIO. "TARZAN" Dramatic presentations of four stories by Edgar Rice Burroughs (6 hours, The Mind's Eye, $24.95)

The first Tarzan movie, starring Elmo Lincoln, was made in 1917. These Ape Man movies have been part of our entertainment fare ever since. So it is understandable that we might imagine that we have a pretty good handle on the escapist stories of Edgar Rice Burroughs.

In fact, if three audio publishers had not simultaneously offered renditions of the Tarzan stories, I might have passed on this excellent full-cast production, directed by Johnny Weissmuller Jr. Weissmuller's father was the most memorable of all the movie Tarzans.

The four stories included in this boxed set, each 90 minutes long, are "Tarzan of the Apes," "The Return of Tarzan," "Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar" and "Tarzan and the City of Gold. …

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